Former Fox host Gretchen Carlson named chair of Miss America pageant

Published: Tuesday, January 02, 2018 @ 9:56 PM

Former Fox news anchor Gretchen Carlson attends the 2017 Time 100 Gala at Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 25, 2017 in New York City.  
Ben Gabbe
Former Fox news anchor Gretchen Carlson attends the 2017 Time 100 Gala at Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 25, 2017 in New York City. (Ben Gabbe)

Miss America 1989 is putting on a new crown.

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The organization’s board of directors announced former winner — and ex-Fox News host — Gretchen Carlson, 51, is taking over the role of chairwoman of the Miss America organization after the company was rattled by a scandal involving its former CEO and several board members, People magazine reported.

In addition to Carlson, Laura Kaeppeler Fleiss (Miss America 2012), Heather French Henry (Miss America 2000), and Kate Shindle (Miss America 1998) were also named to the Miss America board.

The organization’s leadership changes come just weeks after leaked emails were uncovered by Huffington Post journalist Yashar Ali showing CEO Sam Haskell and various pageant executives exchanging derogatory comments — at one point calling past winners bad names — about past winners and personal attacks against former winners, including discussions about their sex lives and crude comments about their bodies.

In one email exchange between Haskell and a since-fired telecast writer Lewis Friedman, the pair joked, “It should have been Kate Shindle,” referring to news of the death of former Miss America Mary Ann Mobley. The uncovered emails also revealed that Haskell and other organizers previously drove Carlson from the board with disparaging remarks.

Carlson’s new appointment marks the first time in the pageants near century long history that a former winner has served as its leader. A staunch advocate against sexual assault, Carlson left her position as a Fox & Friends host and filed a sexual harassment suit against the network’s founder and CEO Roger Ailes.

“Everyone has been stunned by the events of the last several days, and this has not been easy for anyone who loves this program,” Carlson said in a statement to HuffPost. “In the end, we all want a strong, relevant Miss America and we appreciate the existing board taking the steps necessary to quickly begin stabilizing the organization for the future.”

>> Related: 3 Miss America officials resign, 1 apologizes to ex-winner

CEO Sam Haskell resigned from the company on Dec. 23, in addition former chair Lynn Weidner and Tammy Haddad, a member, also resigned.

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Swedish musician Avicii dead at 28

Published: Friday, April 20, 2018 @ 1:40 PM

Avicii Dead at 28

Swedish DJ Avicii was found dead Friday in Oman, his publicist confirmed. He was 28.

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Judge forces David Copperfield to reveal 'Lucky #13' magic trick

Published: Friday, April 20, 2018 @ 7:09 AM

What You Need To Know: David Copperfield

David Copperfield was forced to shatter his most famous illusion.

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The famed magician was ordered in court Tuesday to break the Magicians Oath in court Tuesday, the BBC reported. A judge ordered Copperfield to explain one of his most famous tricks -- the Lucky #13 -- during a trial involving a man who claimed he was injured during the stunt.

British tourist Gavin Cox, 58, filed a negligence lawsuit against the illusionist, Time reported. Cox claimed he fell while participating in the Lucky #13 trick at the MGM Grand Resort and Casino in Las Vegas in 2013, the BBC reported. In the trick, Copperfield makes 13 audience members, chosen at random, disappear on stage and then reappear at the back of the room, the BBC reported. 

Cox told NBC News that he has suffered chronic pain and brain injury and has spent more than $400,000 on medical bills.

Copperfield’s attorney argued that revealing the secret would be financially detrimental, but a Las Vegas district court ruled against the magician

A Las Vegas district court rejected Copperfield’s defense, which argued that disclosing the secret behind the trick would be financially detrimental to him. He was ordered to explain how the trick was done.

Spoiler alert: Copperfield’s executive producer testified that when the curtain falls, the 13 volunteers are taken through passageways that circle the MGM building. They exit the building and then re-enter at the back of the theater, Time reported.

“There was a duty by the defendants to provide a safe environment to the audience participants,” Cox’s lawyer, Benedict Morelli, said in the opening statements.

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Actors Rachel Weisz, Daniel Craig expecting first child

Published: Friday, April 20, 2018 @ 9:12 AM

Rachel Weisz and Daniel Craig are expecting their first child together. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)
Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images
Rachel Weisz and Daniel Craig are expecting their first child together. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)(Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

Actor Rachel Weisz has announced that she and her husband, James Bond actor Daniel Craig, are expecting their first child.

The actress revealed the news when she spoke to The New York Times to promote her movie “Disobedience.”

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“I’ll be showing soon. Daniel and I are so happy,” she told The Times. “We’re going to have a little human. We can’t wait to meet him or her. It’s all such a mystery.”

Weisz, 48, and Craig, 50, have been married for seven years and are very private about their personal lives, but Weisz did share that she is happy in her marriage.

“I’m very happy being married,” she said, “Very, very happy,”

Although Weisz applauds celebrity couples who have made their relationships part of their brand, that’s not the case for her marriage

“Daniel and I are really similar. We just literally don’t know how to do that,” Weisz said. “We’re just really crap at talking about our private lives.”

This is the second child for each actor. E! News reported that Weisz has an 11-year-old son with director Darren Aronofsky and Craig has a 25-year-old daughter with actress Fiona London.

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Destiny’s Child singer Michelle Williams engaged to pastor Chad Johnson

Published: Thursday, April 19, 2018 @ 12:20 PM

Getting To Know Michelle Williams

Former Destiny’s Child singer Michelle Williams is getting married.

The 37-year-old singer is engaged to pastor Chad Johnson, 40, after a year of dating.

Williams and Johnson opened up to People about their love story, which began in March 2017 at a spiritual retreat hosted by Elevate International.

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Johnson, founder of Elevate International, led the retreat in Arizona and said he and Williams were in “very similar places on a personal level.”

“I was in a horrible, dark place,” Williams said. “I just needed to go somewhere where I could get a message of hope and restoration, rejuvenation — get connected to God.”

“Michelle was coming off the heels of a really bad relationship, and I was just in a place of despair as well,” Johnson, a professional sports chaplain who has worked with the Pittsburgh Steelers and L.A. Dodgers, said.

The two kept in touch after the retreat and progressed from texts to FaceTime calls.

“We spent almost three months without even seeing each other, just building a strong foundation on the phone and through FaceTime,” Johnson told People. “It was really built on friendship and communication.”

The two went on their first date at a wedding in the Dominican Republic, had their first kiss and decided to date officially.

“I told her, ‘I’ve been looking. I don’t want to look anymore. I’m done. My search is over,’” Johnson said.

A year to the day Johnson first reached out to Williams -- on March 21 -- the two got engaged. Johnson proposed with a 5-carat ring and a video of himself with members of Williams’ family.

“I started weeping and wailing when I see all these special people,” Williams said. “Towards the end of the video, something in my head said, ‘Pull yourself together! He’s about to propose! Stop all this crying!’”

Williams said she was drawn to her now-fiance because she could be herself with him, adding that Johnson calls her by her first name.

“My first name is Tenitra; my middle name is Michelle. I felt like I could be Tenitra; just ratchet, I didn’t have to have on any makeup, if I had to have on my hair bonnet — he just made me feel very safe in being myself,” she said.

The two plan on having a wedding this summer.

“It’s gonna be … think James Bond-meets-’Midsummer Night’s Dream’ — with a little hood in it,” Williams said. “It’s gonna be very traditional. We’re doing black-tie. We want it to be small and intimate and very private.”

Find out more about Johnson’s proposal and the couple’s love story at People.com.

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